Photo by Leslie Dylan

Review: Seeing Red with Pale Waves at Neumos

December 18, 2018
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England’s own four-piece goth-pop band, Pale Waves, brought their debut album, 'My Mind Makes Noises' to Neumos last month, marking their first show in the area since Summer Camp in August.

    When the lights came up, everything was doused in red, matching the black and red aesthetic of Pale Waves’ new album. Lead singer, Heather Baron-Gracie, sauntered to center stage to pick up her guitar, which had the name “KARL” etched into the front.

They opened their set with “Television Romance,” a single off of the new record with a driving drumbeat and an upbeat guitar melody; the kind of song that could make anyone want to dance. The crowd sang to every word while Heather grooved along on stage, dancing and flipping her hair during vocal breaks. The next song was “Eighteen,” the opening track to their album, followed by “New Year’s Eve,” a song off of their All The Things I Never Said EP that was released  earlier this year. After that was “Red,” a sort of bittersweet song that starts off slow before a strong drum beat and heavy synthesizers hit us at the chorus, at which point the audience began to jump and dance around. 

Photo by Leslie Dylan

After a couple more lively and upbeat tunes, Heather mentioned that the time had come for “real emo hours” before starting their next song, another one off of their EP called “My Obsession.” It’s a slower song that includes the line, you’ll always be my favorite obsession, and right as that lyric was being sung, a few fans in the front row pulled out foam fingers with “#1” printed on them and started to wave them in the air to the beat of the song. For the their next song, "She" Heather prefaced it by saying: this is the saddest song of them all, so get your tissues out

 The audience applauded as soon as the song faded out, and Heather announced, “time for a happy song now!” as the band began to play “Came In Close,” another energetic song from the album that caused Baron-Gracie to whip out some fancy footwork. It was followed by “The Tide,” another song from the EP, and then Pale Waves closed their set off with “Noises,” whose opening lyric shares the album’s namesake. During this song, Heather crouched down to the crowd and hugged and sang to a handful of the fans, all of whom wore massive smiles on their faces. She walked off the stage before the song ended, leaving the three remaining members to finish the song.

Photo by Leslie Dylan

The band all left and the lights went down as the crowd cheered for more, and it was only a matter of moments before the lights came back up for the encore. The band came back out and played two more songs, the first being “One More Time,” and the other being their hit-single, “There’s A Honey.” As soon as they began to play their last song, the audience went wild. With the venue packed from front to back, it’s of no surprise that everyone’s voices drowned out the vocals coming from the speakers. The band played their final notes and then walked off the stage again, waving goodbye to the audience, and the show came to a close.

    It is very obvious that Pale Waves are well-loved here, and they will be back in Seattle very soon. You can catch them on tour with The 1975 next April at WaMu Theater.

Photo by Leslie Dylan

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